The Huronia Stallions Varsity team lost 7-0 against the first-place Scarborough Thunder in the first round of the playoffs. Both teams struggled to do anything offensively for the entire contest. The first half saw the Thunder advance deep into Stallion territory on two occasions but came away with no points due to key third down stops by the Huronia defence to make the score 0-0 at the half. The Stallions began the third quarter with terrible field position after the opening kickoff and could not manage to get out of their own end. The Stallions defence produced stop after stop deep in their own territory until a bad snap on punt and a Stallions interception left them with very little space to defend. The Thunder finally punched in a touchdown on third down from the one-yard line one play after Stallions safety Kayden Peters knocked the Thunder quarterback out of the game by leaping over the mass of linemen to stop a quarterback sneak up the middle. In the final three minutes, the Stallions finally advanced the ball into Thunder territory thanks to some tough running by Issachar Sookwah and two unsportsmanlike conduct penalties by the Thunder. The Stallions had four shots to pass into the endzone for a touchdown in the final minute with the final pass falling agonizingly close for the winning score.
The Huronia defence played at a championship level throughout the season under the guidance of first-year coordinator Ed Shrubsole. Shrubsole, a former Stallion player and starter at the University of Western Ontario, demonstrated that he has the knowledge and ability to be a first-rate coach at any level in the years to follow. The Stallions were led on defence by the spectacular play of cornerback Jordan Travis who had two interceptions, a fumble recovery, and consistently shut down the dangerous Thunder receiving corps. Middle Linebacker Charles Doering forced a fumble and had several key tackles on defence and Defensive Halfback Chris Kenneweg played at a high level with some key pass defences. Zechariah Willems was a force on the Stallions defensive line and also played significant time on offence and special teams. Willems had an outstanding season and evolved into the leader of the football team in his final season.
The Stallions top offensive players were Guard Chris Costigan who played tough hardnosed football against a very strong Thunder defensive line, and Wide Receiver and Special Teams ace Cruze Beaudry who blossomed into a complete football player in his final season.
Huronia finishes the year with a 5-3-1 record and can look back proudly to a season where all three of their losses were in close games, they defeated a 6-2 Oshawa team with an amazing fourth quarter comeback, and tied a 7-0-1 Scarborough squad who they took to the wire in the playoffs. The Stallions organization would like to thank Costigan, Peters, Willems, Beaudry, Sookwah, and Kenneweg for their efforts and contributions to the program as they move on to post-secondary studies.
The Huronia Stallions Bantam squad lost 52-6 to the undefeated Brampton Bulldogs in the first round of the playoffs. The Stallions kept the game close for a half with Brampton leading 16-6 at intermission but were unable to hold off their supremely talented opponent. The Stallions had a good season with a young squad winning four games including a key win against Peterborough to help claim the Cottage Cup.
Article and Photo By: Jason Romisher